Back Roads by Tawni O’Dell

Book Description

January 1, 2001
“One day you’re that guy who’s happy he managed to survive high school and get that almighty piece of paper, and you’re thinking you might try to get a job at Redi-Mix concrete where your dad’s worked since the beginning of time. And at least you’ve got a family you can stand even if they are all sisters.

One day you’re that guy, and the next day you’re assigned to a social worker and a therapist and given the choice of either being a LEGAL ADULT with three DEPENDENTS or an ORPHAN with NOBODY.” –From Back Roads

Harley Altmyer should be in college drinking Rolling Rock and chasing girls. He should be freed from his closed-minded, stricken coal town, with its lack of jobs and no sense of humor. Instead, he’s constantly reminded of just how messed up his life is.

With his mother in jail for killing his abusive father, Harley is an orphan with the responsibilities of an adult and the fiery, aggressive libido of a teenager. Just nineteen years old, he’s marooned in the Pennsylvania backwoods caring for his three younger sisters, whose feelings about him range from stifling dependence to loathing. And once he develops an obsession with the sexy, melancholic mother of two living down the road, those Victoria’s Secret catalogs just won’t do the trick anymore. He wants Callie Mercer so badly he fears he will explode. But it’s the family secrets, the lies, and the unspoken truths that light the fuse and erupt into a series of staggering surprises, leaving what’s left of his family in tatters. Through every ordeal, the unforgettable Harley could never know that his endearing humor, his love for his sisters, and his bumbling heroics would redeem them all.

Review –
I only read this book because I heard it was being made into a motion picture and I was curious and plus it had been recommended by Oprah, once a upon a time. That said, the story held my interest and I couldn’t help feeling sorry for Harley and all of his predicaments. The story has violence yet it’s touching and darkly funny. I plan to see the movie and see how well they adapt it to the big screen.
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The Wicked Girls by Alex Marwood

Book Description

July 30, 2013
On a fateful summer morning in 1986, two eleven-year-old girls meet for the first time. By the end of the day, they will both be charged with murder. Twenty-five years later, journalist Kirsty Lindsay is reporting on a series of sickening attacks on young female tourists in a seaside vacation town when her investigation leads her to interview carnival cleaner Amber Gordon. For Kirsty and Amber, it’s the first time they’ve seen each other since that dark day so many years ago. Now with new, vastly different lives—and unknowing families to protect—will they really be able to keep their wicked secret hidden?
Review –
OMG!!   I had the audio version of this book  and that narrator did a fantastic job with the different voices and the tone  overall.  It is truly a remarkable story-two little girls kill and third girl and are punished for their crime and then are told that they can never been in contact with one another again, ever. One girl comes from a seeming good home and has everything she needs while the other has a very dysfunctional home and no money. It’s amazing to see them twenty-five years later and to see how their lives have changed. They accidentally meet because of a murder investigation and a the job of a reporter that one of them holds. The murders continue and are intertwined within the life of one of them and the end is something I did not see coming. I also enjoyed the flashbacks into the lives of the two women as children  and to see how their crime came to happen.  That’s what made it so good.
I rated it 5 stars *****
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Seven,Eight … Gonna Stay Up Late ( Rebekka Franck Series) by Willow Rose

Book Description:

Published: April 18, 2013

She thought she could keep it a secret.

Just fourteen years old, Amalie thought she could take off and go to the festival with her best friend without anyone knowing it – without her parents finding out. She thought she was safe when she met a man offering her drugs. She thought she was safe when she went alone to her tent to take the pills. But when she opened her eyes and found herself in the man’s basement, she knew she wasn’t safe anymore.

She was trapped.

“Seven, Eight … Gonna Stay Up Late” is the fourth novel in Willow Rose’s Best selling series about the Danish journalist Rebekka Franck.

Review –

Another chapter of Nordic Noir with mystery, murder, internet forums, European heiresses and Rebekka Franck to save the day. A bit graphic but still a good read.

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City of Heavenly Fire The Mortal Instruments #6) by Cassandra Clare

Book Description:

Published: May 17, 2014

In this dazzling and long-awaited conclusion to the acclaimed Mortal Instruments series, Clary and her friends fight the greatest evil they have ever faced: Clary’s own brother.
Sebastian Morgenstern is on the move, systematically turning Shadowhunter against Shadowhunter. Bearing the Infernal Cup, he transforms Shadowhunters into creatures out of nightmare, tearing apart families and lovers as the ranks of his Endarkened army swell.

The embattled Shadowhunters withdraw to Idris – but not even the famed demon towers of Alicante can keep Sebastian at bay. And with the Nephilim trapped in Idris, who will guard the world against demons?

When one of the greatest betrayals the Nephilim have ever known is revealed, Clary, Jace, Isabelle, Simon, and Alec must flee – even if their journey takes them deep into the demon realms, where no Shadowhunter has set foot before, and from which no human being has ever returned…

Love will be sacrificed and lives lost in the terrible battle for the fate of the word in the thrilling final installment of the classic urban fantasy series The Mortal Instruments!

Review –

Truly enchanted with this, the final installment, of The Mortal Instruments Series,  and I had no trouble falling back into the story after  having read the previous book months ago. I loved the different POV in this  book and the highs and lows of chapters. I mean,  you would reach a real high in the plot and then the author would bring you back down to earth and fill you in with stuff that was more in-depth. It made for a great final book in a great series.

Can’t wait for the next movie.

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The 5th Wave (The 5th Wave #1) by Rick Yancey

Book Description:

Published: May 7, 2013

 

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker.

Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

Review –

OMG!!

The book was captivating right from the start and held my interest to the end and it only took me a few hours to read. Cassie is a strong female character, which YA literature needs more of, and she is devoted to finding her brother. The story is action packed, fast paced and the characters have great chemistry together(Cassie and Evan). I can’t wait to read the second in the series.  

I rated this book 5 stars *****

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Kiss the Dead (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #21) by Laurell K Hamilton

Book Description:

Published: June 5, 2012

When a fifteen-year-old girl is abducted by vampires, it’s up to U.S. Marshal Anita Blake to find her. And when she does, she’s faced with something she’s never seen before: a terrifyingly ordinary group of people—kids, grandparents, soccer moms—all recently turned and willing to die to avoid serving a master. And where there’s one martyr, there will be more…

But even vampires have monsters that they’re afraid of. And Anita is one of them…

Review –

This was a second reading for me and this time I choose the audio version and enjoyed more. I find that I always enjoy a book more the second time around.  This is a great series with great characters and impossible happenings but those impossibilities are what make the story so wonderful.  If you’ve never read an Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter you need to add one to your “to be read” list.

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The Book of Life (All Souls Trilogy #3) by Deborah Harkness

Book Description:

Published: July 15, 2014

After traveling through time in Shadow of Night, the second book in Deborah Harkness’s enchanting series, historian and witch Diana Bishop and vampire scientist Matthew Clairmont return to the present to face new crises and old enemies. At Matthew’s ancestral home at Sept-Tours, they reunite with the cast of characters from A Discovery of Witches—with one significant exception. But the real threat to their future has yet to be revealed, and when it is, the search for Ashmole 782 and its missing pages takes on even more urgency. In the trilogy’s final volume, Harkness deepens her themes of power and passion, family and caring, past deeds and their present consequences. In ancestral homes and university laboratories, using ancient knowledge and modern science, from the hills of the Auvergne to the palaces of Venice and beyond, the couple at last learn what the witches discovered so many centuries ago.

Review –

This is the final book in the All Souls Trilogy and I hated to see it come to an end because of the magical intertwining of reality with witches, vampires, time travel, romance,hatred, America, Europe, wars, marriage, births, deaths, and wonderful characters with such energy and chemistry. Truly a work of art.  I rate it 5 stars *****

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Aunt Dimity and the Wishing Well (Aunt Dimity Series #19) by Nancy Atherton

Book Description:

Published: April 17, 2014

When a strapping young Australian named Jack MacBride arrives in Finch to wrap up his late uncle’s affairs, heads turn in the sleepy English village. But when Lori volunteers to help Jack clear out his uncle’s overgrown garden, they discover something even more shocking than a stranger turning up in Finch.

After Lori laughingly tosses a coin into the garden’s old well and makes a wish, she is baffled to find that the wish seems to have come true. Word spreads, and the villagers turn out in droves to make wishes of their own. But as they soon learn, one person’s wish is another person’s worst nightmare and the village is thrown into chaos.

As more and more wishes come true, Lori resolves to find out what’s really going on. Is handsome Jack somehow tricking his neighbors? Or are they fooling themselves? With Aunt Dimity’s otherworldly help, Lori discovers that the truth is even more marvelous than a magical wishing well.

Review –

This installment of the Aunt Dimity Mystery Series was much better than the last one I read.  It’s the perfect scenario for the old saying of  “if something looks too good to be true-it usually is”. Loved it.

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Aunt Dimity and the Lost Prince (Aunt Dimity Series #18) by Nancy Atherton

Book Description:

Published: April 18, 2013

When a finely wrought silver sleigh figurine turns up in her thrift shop, Lori Shepherd recognizes it instantly.  It was the object that mesmerized the sweet but very poor nine-year-old Daisy Pickering at Sproggton Manor, the bizarre Jacobean house-turned-museum Lori recently visited with her twin sons.

Hoping to avoid any real commotion, Lori decides to speak with the museum curator, who turns out to be oddly uninterested in the theft. But there’s not much that could be done anyway for the Pickerings seem to have come into some money and moved to Australia.

With Aunt Dimity’s otherworldly guidance, Lori’s search for the sleigh’s true owner leads her to a tangled web of secrets stretching from the finest English country estates back to the blood-drenched soil of the Russian Revolution.

Review –

I love this series but didn’t find this book as interesting and attention grabbing as some of the others. It is still worth reading because of the chemistry of all the characters involved.

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If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Book Description

March 24, 2009
In the blink of an eye everything changes. Seventeen ­year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall what happened afterwards, watching her own damaged body being taken from the wreck. Little by little she struggles to put together the pieces- to figure out what she has lost, what she has left, and the very difficult choice she must make. Heartwrenchingly beautiful, this will change the way you look at life, love, and family.
From GoodReads:
Just listen, Adam says with a voice that sounds like shrapnel.

I open my eyes wide now.
I sit up as much as I can.
And I listen.

Stay, he says.

Choices. Seventeen-year-old Mia is faced with some tough ones: Stay true to her first love—music—even if it means losing her boyfriend and leaving her family and friends behind?

Then one February morning Mia goes for a drive with her family, and in an instant, everything changes. Suddenly, all the choices are gone, except one. And it’s the only one that matters.

If I Stay is a heartachingly beautiful book about the power of love, the true meaning of family, and the choices we all make.

Review –
I read this book because the movie came out and I wanted to compare the two, even though the books are always better. Anyway, I was very disappointed and let down. It was, at least to me, a run of the mill sad story of a girl in a coma and her boyfriends asking her not to die. I cry at the drop of a hat and I didn’t shed one tear-what does that tell you?  I decided not to see the movie and wait til it comes out on Net Flix or Amazon Instant Video.
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